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Media Guru 2013

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

I am given 4 daily GRP Levels (25, 50, 75, and 100) with 4 different billboard ads. I am also given both reach and frequency for the 25, 50, and 100 levels. I am asked to find a percentage of reach for the 75 level and later the avg frequency. How do I find this using the other reach and frequency values? (Note the daily GRP levels are based on 28 days)

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, December 12, 2013)

The simplest way to approximate this "using the other values" is to graph the data.

Put GRP values on the "x" axis (horizontal axis) and the reach values on the "y" axis.

Remember that instead of 25/50/75/100, you really have monthly GRP values of 700 / 1400 / 2200 / 2800.

Place a mark on your grid to show where the 3 reach values you have for 700, 1400 and 2800 lie against the Y axis and above the corresponding X axis value.

Then try to sketch in a curve that includes the known reach value markings. Read the Y axis height of the curve where it passes above the 2200 GRP value of the X axis.

A prototypical reach curve looks like the one below, which is NOT specific to outdoor.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

It is often unclear what the population base is of a Web media plan I am being sold.
What are the criteria I should be looking for and how should I determine that population base?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, December 05, 2013)

Whenever a media plan is being sold to you whether web or traditional, the plan should contain a description of the population base of the evaluation. That base may be total population or a target base such as total beer drinkers or total woman 18-34. For web planning it is especially important to be sure whether your base is total population or total target population not total web population or total target web population.

If all you are given are the GRPs, Gross Impressions or Reach & Frequency, you can determine what the population base size is by using these simple formulas:

Impressions(000) ÷ GRPS ÷ .01 = Population(000)

GRPS = Reach x Frequency

Once you determine the size you should check to see what that number represents.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are there any best practices you can suggest when writing POVs? Also any templates in MS Word or MS Excel that are easy to read for clients?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, November 27, 2013)

The classic formula for media recommendations and POVs is:

  • Purpose (of this document)
  • Background (what issues or questions or opportunities will be addressed?)
  • Recommendation/POV ( the simple statement, e.g. Spend $X on something or This vehicle is inappropriate for us)
  • Details (key points supporting the reco)
  • Discussion (how and why the key points drive the analysis)
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

Use each of these headers to set off each section.

Monday, November 25, 2013

how we can change culture of marketing research in our countery?
I am from iran & in our country the marketing research is not commersial and my qustion is how we can change this cultuer

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, November 25, 2013)


  • To what do you wish to change it? In the US, profit motive drives changes in business models
  • The Guru actually only deals with Media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department management questions.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dear Guru, if I want an agency to give me the costs per incremental reach point what kind of table should I set up? What information does the agency need in order to deliver this information?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, November 21, 2013)

One element, obviously is spending. The other is reach.

Visualize a table with rows consisting of spending levels. Depending on your budget, this might be every $10,000 or every $million.

The first column would be reach at each budget level. If you subtract each reach number from the prior number, you get incremental reach, which you may put in a second column. Now you can answer the question and graph the data.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hello Guru. how can i found out the amount of minutes if i have only the amount of 30"grps? is there a conversion formula?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, November 20, 2013)

(30" GRP ÷ 2) ÷ Average rating = # of minutes

Sunday, November 17, 2013

When we refer to "buying target" does this mean that the price of a TV spot is fixed according to targets? Or this mean that we buy GRPs related to the target but the price of the spot is the same no matter the target.. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, November 18, 2013)

In the US, buying target refers to the audience basis of the negotiation. We may determine that we are willing to pay $2000 per GRP. The price of a spot that we will buy will then vary according to its rating.

The vendor may have set the price of the spot at $6,000, so that if our buying target rating is 3.0, then the cost per GRP for this spot is acceptable to us.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hi guru, i would like to know what is the différence between buying target and media target. To be more precise: my référence for GRPs are based on target A25-35 (media target?) and I see that the agency lists several different targets by channel (buying target?). Thanks for your help, Laurent.

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, November 15, 2013)

Probably the most common reason for this difference is that the true marketing target for the brand is "X" but the way the metrics of the particular medium are available does not offer measurement of that demographic and a nearest equivalent is used. This dichotomy is not standard.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Which are good tools available for digital media planning. For example a tool which gives info demographic/psychographic details about their visitors and website stats

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, November 13, 2013)

Start by looking into comScore and Nielsen//Netratings

Thursday, November 07, 2013

how should i approach planning for a national tv buy?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, November 07, 2013)

Consider the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan

Thursday, November 07, 2013

What is the best way to approach buying tv advertising on a national level? Do I need to look at everything on a market-by-market basis?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, November 07, 2013)

National TV buying does not call for market-by-market analysis unless you have specific issues in certain markets.

If you have reached a point in your marketing cycle where national TV is appropriate and affordable, it is most likely your most efficient and effective option. If a few markets deserve special attention, a local overlay is always possible.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

what are five ways media planners use this site

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, November 06, 2013)

You have found one, look around.

The Guru would like to talk to the professor who assigns this question to each class.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Dear Guru, is there a specific reason why tvc spots have traditionally been 30 seconds. Why don't advertisers like to create 20 second masters instead of 20 second edits?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, November 06, 2013)

It's tradition, as you say. Around this tradition, TV vendors have built schedules and time slots. In the '80's, when advertisers started looking at :15's they saw the trade-off in awareness and retention.

Monday, November 04, 2013

I work at a smaller agency and am constantly asked to create media plans without a measurable marketing objective. I am usually told "brand awareness" is the marketing goal. This type of broad, general objective makes it exceptionally hard for me to be strategic in my media choices. And it gets harder every day with the proliferation of more and more mediums. Any suggestions on how to get better input from my associates?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, November 06, 2013)

Guru always builds a "marketing input for media planning" for that account execs with clients must fill out. It specifies targets, communication goals, restrictions, etc. It specifically asks for quantification of goals.

Everything creates awareness. One needs to know how much awareness or how much increase is required.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hi Mr. Guru,

Thank you for your great archives and sharing of wisdom.
I have a question as a small US based National Cable TV Media Buying and Planning Agency.
We have a client that has advertised (on Television) extensively in Europe and looking to expand throughout the US.
They insist their agency gives '90% discounts' and I have heard of the EU 'discount cards'.

I can't seem to find any information on the specifics of European media buying and 'discount cards'- can you offer any information?

Many thanks.

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, October 23, 2013)

Different countries have different practices. For example:

  • In the UK you can buy a national spot and have it sold out from under you to a higher offer
  • In some Latin American countries, stations rebate to the agency on advertiser buys

It's possible that there is a misunderstanding of the "90% discount" and what's really meant is equivalent to saying the US has an 85% discount, i.e. simply net vs gross.

The Guru is not aware of any country in Europe where media is habitually sold at 10% of rate card.

It is not even credible that fictitiously inflated rate cards are maintained to create this illusion.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Is there a tool or model that will allow us to project increase in brand awareness based upon the projected media plan (TRPs/reach/frequency)?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, October 22, 2013)

There may be some proprietary models that certain advertisers have built from their own experience. But more practically, consider reach to be your primary capping factor. Reach at a 3+ level may be a better indicator. Other levels of effective reach may be supported by further analyses, such as the Ostrow model

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

In terms of wear-out...

Who determined the levels for the thresholds and can you provide a good current source (Ephron?)

Do these still apply today? Has anyone reconfirmed them?


The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, October 10, 2013)

The true standard for wear-out is a decline in effectiveness, which may be measured in sales, awareness, etc. GRP levels should be avoided as the marketplace and copy quality are bigger variables.

Click here to see past Guru responses regarding wear out. The Guru does not identify any one leading expert on wear-out.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

In terms of effective frequency.

What is a good source for effectiveness and times of use of 3+, 4+, 5+, 6+ goals.

Why is the default standard of agency goals 3+?


The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, October 10, 2013)

Many people follow the Ostrow Model to set the right effective frequency level.
past Guru responses about the Ostrow Model

The 3+ default stems from the mid-19th century work of a theorist named Ebbinghaus who demonstrated the memory/retention effects of three repetitions of information.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

why is a [avg] 4-wk RF a standard unit of measurement? If weekly goals are absent (does not mean not optimized) and campaign goals are spread over a larger timeframe, than I am looking for a good explanation as to why a certain amount of minimum TRPs should be planned in a particular month (money aside).

Explanations could include:
- Enough time to build traction and awareness of message
- Enough time to build effective reach (same as above)
- Matches sales close cycles (depends if you have them and then it would have to do with above explanations on reach and awareness)
- Common timeframe to match across media - like a CPM (not a good answer since print can be measured weekly if need be)
- Nielsen sample measured only 1 month (identical people) - who cares if accurate RF - all RFs are directional in my opinion

So why 4 weeks, not 2,3 or more than 4.
Why should I talk about four week goals?

Root of questions is...Client asked about minimum weekly TRP goals...I want to say we don't have them, especially since we talking about tactical flighting but we do have monthly goals. Why is monthly a good period?

Rolling 4 week, Avg 4wk = at any given time you will achieve XYZ but why is that 4 wk period good/law/effective.

Yes - goals can be whatever you want them to be!!! but roll with me please.


The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, October 09, 2013)

The simple answer to your question is that 4 weks became the standard in the day ( before 1950 or so) when the dominant national medium was magazines, which were mostly monthly.

Nielsen's National People Meter measures continuously these days. Before meters, weekly diaries were the standard.

It is true that R&F is only one of many measures of communication.

Also, click here to see past Guru responses regarding recency.

There is no magic in 4-week, especially if no monthly media are in the plan. Many broadcast planners focus on whatever cycle represents their flighting.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Guru, do you know what the minimum volume is for an online video campaign to produce statistically significant results using Nielsen OCR in the USA?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, October 01, 2013)

There are more variables than just volume. You should discuss with your Nielsen rep, but you may start with this article:


Sunday, September 22, 2013

As for advertising for a automobile dealership, which is a better buy, TV or Radio? Looking to spend $40K a month. City is Chattanooga, TN. Thanks a million.

The Media Guru Answers (Sunday, September 22, 2013)


  • Think about your goals, do you need more reach or frequency?
  • At the rates you can get and your budget, what can you afford?
  • In other words, set your goals first, then assess media.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What is an effective frequency if your are airing multiple spots during the same campaign. Should each spot be expected to achieve a 3 frequency?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, September 17, 2013)

You are not selling a commercial, you are selling a brand/product. If your commercials are so different that this is unclear, that's a different problem.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I have a client who wants to understand what happens to brand/ad awareness if a long hiatus occurs. I found your 2002 answers about awareness decline and "half-life". The 5 - 10% weekly decline formula, though, seems specific to television. Is there anything that can answer the question for a print campaign?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, September 17, 2013)

Even though GRPs may have been mentioned, the principal still applies. Print has GRPS as well.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hi Media Guru,

Could you please help me understand the difference between TVR and TRP. Is TVR and TRP the same? or is TRP the same as GRP.


The Media Guru Answers (Friday, September 13, 2013)

They are all essentially the same:

  • TVR = Television rating. In this usage it could be the rating of a single spot. This variant is not typically used in the US.
  • GRP = Gross Rating Points. In this usage the summed ratings of multiple spots / ads are referenced
  • TRP = Target Rating Points. This is exactly the same as GRP except that it indicates that a particular demographic target is being referenced. People who use "TRP" reserve GRP to apply only to Household rating points

Both TRP and GRP may apply to media other than television.

Monday, September 09, 2013

How much money did Target spend on advertising in 2012 in the U.S. and was it more or less than the previous year?

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, September 09, 2013)

CMR (Competitive Media Reports)
is a good source for such information.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Dear Media Guru,
When calculating magazine impressions, should I double the impressions for a 1P4C to get the impressions for a spread or should the impressions remain the same since the magazine will achieve the same # impressions regardless of how many insertions I have in that issue?

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, September 09, 2013)

A spread and a p4c are each one ad, and have the same number of impressions. Separate, multiple ads in the same issue may be counted separately.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

What's the right split between :15 and :30 second TV spots

The Media Guru Answers (Saturday, September 07, 2013)

It depends:

  • How complex is your message?
  • How well established is your message?
  • How well established is your ad awareness/brand awareness?
  • What is your reach or frequency goal versus your budget?
  • Etc.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

If a small agency does not have access to Nielsen data for cable, is it acceptable to do a hand calculation of cable tv audience reach based on impressions and GRP's?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, August 29, 2013)

What impressions and GRPs do you have if you "do not have access to Nielsen data?"

Hand calculation is acceptable if you have a simple algorithm you trust. The Guru is not aware of any such simple algorithm.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In regards to agency mark ups (commission) if you are working with 15% you would multiply costs times 1.1765 and get your gross amount which includes mark up. My question is how do you explain in simple language to the client that this is the correct formula for the 15% mark up and that you are not marking it by 17%. Most clients take the cost and multiple it by 1.15 but you lose 2+ percent doing it this way. Having trouble explaining the reasoning.

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, August 22, 2013)

The pricing is identical to media commission:

If an ad unit is on a gross media rate card priced at $1000, then the agency pays the medium $850 and keeps $150. This should square with everone's expectations.

When the agency is the vendor however, as in the case of production, then it marks up the costs to create the comparable commission. so if the agency's cost of producing an ad is $850, the client is charged $1000. The commission is based on the total; 15% of the $1000. But if you start from the $850 instead, the factor is 1.1765 to get the $1000.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Can you help me with ROI calculation for OOH campaign.

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, August 21, 2013)

ROI is very simple:

  • What did you spend?
  • What added revenue was produced compared to not making that expenditure?
  • Added revenue ÷ spending = return on investment

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Hi Guru, I have eagerly read through your responses on copy wear out you have posted over the years, but wondered if you had and guidance on wear out when running TV at RECENCY weights? Surely when you're airing the ad (at a lower weekly weight) over a LONGER period of time the frequency tolerance will increase? Or would the same 3 checks apply (1. 2000 TRPs, 2. point of sales declines, 3. effective freq as defined by quartile/ ostrow)? Thanks so much

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, August 08, 2013)

When using lower level recency strategies, it is likely that the curve of forgetting gives longer GRP life to copy, so the 2000 TRP standard should be adjusted. In recency strategies, effective frequency is essentially being discarded.

Nevertheless, the point of sales decline still rules; the other two were simply secondary ways to model that metric.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I would like to undertand why do we need to equilize in 30'' to get the total GRP in order to have SOV when comparing competitors. Why we do not simply make the addition of GRP no matter the format ? Sorry for my english.. I am french! Thanks Guru !

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, August 08, 2013)

SOV comparisons are meant to compare the strength of communications of competitors, not simply reach and frequency. Different values must be given to :15 messages versus :30 messages.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I need to determine the spill into New Haven into Hartford and the spill into Hartford into New Haven, can you assist?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, August 07, 2013)

You don't specify whether you're talking about TV or radio.

And you don't specify the geography you are considering. Is it Metro or county or . . .??

In tv they are just one DMA. In radio it's one Metro.
Nielsen (TV) and Arbitron (radio) each offer county coverage resources to answer your question.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

ABC is premiering Dancing With The Stars on Monday September 16th, 2013. I know more people will tune in on that night, so I am trying to calculate what the HH rating and a demo rating of Adults 25+ will be. I also know that in my market, Dancing With The Stars premiered last year on Mon Sept 24th and did a 11.8 HH Rtg with a 15.6 share. The HUT was 75.9. How can I project a demo rating of Adults 25+ will be for this premiere date?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, August 06, 2013)

Look up last year's A25+ rating and calculate the ratio to HH.

First you could assume the same HH rating this year and apply the ratio.

Or you could examine the whole season vs previous season and see if that leads you to project some variance for this year. The 1 week difference in dates is probably not significant in itself, but consider the other programming in the same slot. Was it repeats last year and premieres of hot shows this year?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Can you help me assess the average cpm of typical event sponsorships? How should I relate these to a paid media buy that goes along with the sponsorship, but is not a part of the total sponsorship proposed cost? I realize the importance of engagement at the event itself, but want to make sure that I am assessing the overall proposal correctly. It has only about a 4-week media exposure timeframe and the sponsorship itself fits within our target audience. I just need a clear path on how to approach each objective

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, August 02, 2013)

When you ask about a cpm, you are asking about the cost per thousand of something. You need to figure out what those somethings are. You have separated your somethings from media impressions.

Now you have to define your somethings. Is there some sort of unit of engagement you can define? Is it mostly about foot traffic at the event?

The Guru cannot cite a typical cpm without defining what you're counting.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guru-- what do you mean by the following:

1.exposure value
2. How do you determine the exposure in a sponsorship has more value than a media exposure? Wouldn't it matter if the sponsorship cover above a certain % of your Target audience?
3.How do you go about creating a weighted number and applying the degree of value measured?
4. How should I go about applying a relevant cpm?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, July 24, 2013)
  1. "Exposure value" means impressions within your target.
  2. Presumably a sponsorship exposure has more value, because it may last longer if it involves an event attendee for hours instead of 30 second, or if it provides something not otherwise available like an airshow or concert. This is a separate issue from exposure. "Exposure" is how much, "value" is how impactful. You need to make some judgements. Is a spopnsorship exposure twice as impactful, 10x as valuable? That becomes your "weight."
  3. "Relevant cpm" refers to the cpm of the medium involved. Have you used spot TV budget to buy this sponsorship? Radio?

Multiply the weighted exposures X the cpm.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What is the best way to evaluate an event marketing proposal that includes a presenting sponsor opportunity and media schedule? I want to make sure I keep in mind that the overall price proposed can be quantified to that of the foot traffic and media schedule.

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, July 22, 2013)

You are on the right track:

  1. Estimate traffic that will be exposed to the sponsorship materials at the event.
  2. Determine the exposure value of the media schedule.
  3. Decide whether an exposure to the sponsorship has more value than a media exposure (of course it does) and by what degree. Create a weighted number of exposures applying this premium degree of value to the measured traffic.
  4. Apply a relevant cpm to this weighted number.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

RODP stands for?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, July 18, 2013)

As the instructions on the Guru's query submission page state:

"Acronyms and abbreviations . . .may refer to narrow specialties. . . "

And if your country is not the US (which the Guru is thinking here) it may use different terms, or the agency may have home-grown terms.

So the Guru needs details of context to provide best answer.

If the Guru had to guess, and if he assumed this was actually US-based and one agency's or media vendor's jargon, he would guess "Run of DayPart."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hi Media Guru
How would you calculate online media reach curves?
Since you can control the exposure of an impression to the audience by frequency capping, thereby reducing duplication of exposure. Am I correct in assuming that online reach curves are straight lines?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, July 18, 2013)

No. If reach curves were straight lines, they would not be called "curves."

Under any circumstances, the higher the weigh grows, the more duplication will occur.

Frequency capping does not give the control you imagine. If you place an ad only 10 times, there will be some people exposed 10 times and some only once and many not at all. If you mean that by tracking you limit each user to only 10 exposures, that does nothing to control the number of unique users exposed.

When reach curves are graphed, (Reach vs GRP or Impressions), frequency is a straight line.

To calculate reach, You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function.
There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Friday, July 12, 2013

How do i provide a client in Canada for both a trade and consumer plan the reach and frequency for magazines and niche websites?

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, July 12, 2013)

The standard Candian resources are PMB for magazine and PMB/comScore for internet.

Our own eTelmar can process these for R&F.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What is the best way to explain media commission to clients. Many times they perceive it as more than the 15% that it is because they view it as a mark-up. Any help with a Media Commission 101 explanation would be appreciated. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, July 10, 2013)

Media prices are traditionally listed as "gross" which means they include 15% agency commission. The agency is paid the gross, the medium is paid the "net" after the commission is taken by the agency.

If one looks at the media vehicle as something created by an agency at a value of "X," then it will seem that the price has been "marked up" by 17.65% to make the total price that is paid to the station plus the commission retained by the agency.

This is parallel to the way production fees for materials actually created by the agency are indeed marked up. So in each case, the client sees prices that include 15% of their totals for agency commission.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Well thanks :-) index format is 70 in my ex and 50 in yours. So, 100 grp 15 + 100 grp 30 are not additionable? Can we say the plan delivered 200 grp? Or, the plan delivered 150 grp? (50 grp eq 30 + 100 grp 30)? Again great tks!

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, July 10, 2013)

Please keep in mind that the "equivalizing" we are discussing is simply a financial factor to account for the money value of the different unit lengths. It does not reflect communications value. Your 100 GRP of 15s, if they cost 70% of a 30, would convert to 70 equivalized GRP. They can be added together to express total financial value, but it must always be clear that they are equivalized. You can also add un-equivalized 15 and 30 GRP, carefully noting that they are un-equivalized.

15s and 30s in the same program or break have identical ratings and reaches.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Dear Guru, I am writing from Paris :-)
I need to understand eq GRP. If I get 100 GRP 15 sec. What Will be the équivalent the number of GRP 30 sec taking into account a format index of 70%? Many thanks!

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, July 09, 2013)

In the US, 100 GRP of 15 equivalizes to 50 GRP of 30. Part of this is based on a standard price ratio of 2:1.

The Guru does not understand your reference to "a format index of 70%."

Is that a recall index? Impact?

Monday, July 08, 2013

how to leverage on sponsorship
difference between media strategy and channel planning
how do we engage consumers on media platform apart from spot placement
benefits of sponsorship package and return on investment

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, July 08, 2013)

There is an interesting piece regarding "channel planning," here.

Channel planning goes outside media strategy and the Guru's scope.

Sponsorships which may include displays of logos are an example of engaging consumers aprat form spot placement. Product placement (Inserting product use and images into programs is another example.

Benefits of sponsorship packages and ROI and a matter of negotiation, experience and goals.

The first consideration is consumer engagement with the sponsored event or vehicle.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Write a note on advertising in media.

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, July 08, 2013)

see the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Hi Guru,

I'm trying to write a software to do spot-matching for DRTV. I have two file, the spots file and inbound response time. What's the process? How do you match calls that could be attributed to multiple spots? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, July 03, 2013)

If there is potential for calls to be attributed to multiple spots, as in the case of schedules on multiple networks or stations, the obvious solution is to use different phone numbers.

Even so, there is always a presumption of which spot drove the call based on proximity in time.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hi Guru.
I am looking for research or insight into a perplexing problem. I have a newish client with no backdated research asking us for an estimate on at what level to set prompted and unprompted brand awareness targets and how many Target Audience Rating Points (Ppl 18 to 54) would be needed to achieve those prompted or unprompted levels to figure how much they should budget for. I am aware the answer is much like how long is a piece of string, however if you have seen any research that may give us a enough insight to work up some assumptions, that would be great.

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, July 01, 2013)

You are quite right about your "how long is a piece of string?" analogy.

Click here to see Over 200 past Guru responses about awareness and setting levels.

One must also hope your client is prepared to do at least pre/post awarenss testing alongside sales or results tracking.

Your plan will be quite different if your current awareness levels are 40% versus 80%.

Friday, June 14, 2013

To give you some more background. What I was asking are what are the rating thresholds to be considered a Poor rating, a fair rating, good and excellent.

i.e Is a 2.0HH rtg in broadcast considered Poor? Good? etc.

What would be the thresholds for the various mediums? Broadcast nets and tiered cable.

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, June 14, 2013)

Labels like "poor" and "good" are very subjective when applied to objective data like ratings.

In cable especially, where target selectivity can be most important, this can be a meaningless exercise. Is US total rating or coverage rating the comparison?

Objectively, "Tiers" is not even a standard term. Is your tier system based on numbers of subscriber homes or sales volume or another factor?

The Weather Channel, which has the most subscribers, usually has a rating around 0.2 among its 100 million subscribers. DIY, with less than 60% as many subscribers and a rating more like 0.15 might well be considered far more valuable to an advertiser of paints, tools, flooring, etc.

If you insist on ranking and tiering, take all the networks and rank them by subscriber counts, then divide them into 4 groups from high to low. Then rank the nets in each group by coverage are rating and divide each set into poor/fair/good, etc.

This might answer your question, but the Guru does not see it as particularly useful without including factors specific to a particular media plan.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What’s are tiers of TV GRPs?
For Tier 1 cable (TNT, TBS, USA), Tier 2 (Travel Channel, TLC), Tier 3 (Style, WE TV), and Broadcast Nets (Fox, CBS, NBC, etc)

• Poor:
• Fair:
• Good:
• Excellent:

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, June 13, 2013)

Your query seems to be missing several points.

What are your quality standards?

What do TRPs have to do with "poor" or "good?"

What are your goals / targets/ costs?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

We are a local family-owned retail outlet. We are possibly interested in buying a couple of minutes on the Best Deals (bestdealstvshow.com) local TV "spot infomercial" show. What do we need to know, or what questions should we ask the vendor, to find out if our money is being wisely spent? The price is affordable for us, but we don't want to just throw it away. Please advise as to the next step. THANK YOU, in advance.

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, June 05, 2013)

The Guru imagines that by "affordable" you simply mean you can come up with the out-of-pocket expense. Here are some relevant questions:

  • Do they guarantee any sales volume?
  • Will they work based on a percentage of sales rather than simple fees?
  • Do they do the production of your infomercial?
  • Have you seen their work and does it look good?
  • What is their sales track record for similar stores?

Monday, June 03, 2013

How do you know if digital radio is the right investment for your media mix?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, June 04, 2013)

Ask yourself some questions:

  1. Who is your target?
  2. Who does digital radio reach?
  3. How much does it cost to expose your message to your target via digital radio as compared to other media options?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hi Media Guru- I am working on a project translating national
TV and Radip campaigns to a DMA level. I was able to use indices to translate GRPs but not sure if I can translate dollars. Is there any relationship between national costs to local and is there any way to report national dollars on a DMA level?

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, May 31, 2013)

Local CPPs relate to national in variable and uncertain ways. You need local CPPs separately to apply to your translated GRP.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

how to back compute GRPs from given SOE and SOM?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, May 30, 2013)

Only if you know the Cost per GRP (CPP) and $size of the market:

$ size of market X SOE = brand $

Brand dollar ÷ CPP = GRP

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

can we have a negative reach at any point of the campaign or is there any concept of a negative reach?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, May 21, 2013)

No. Negative reach is not possible. Reach is the portion of the target exposed to the schedule. How could that be less than zero?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New to the media buying space and looking into our small company's first buy, I'm hoping that you can give me some insight into cpm. I hope this is no too much info but here goes. We're looking at running a :30 spot on a regional affiliate station with a approx 167,000 weekly viewers. We're targeting men & women 35+ yrs during the morning and evening news.

What would be a reasonable cpm range in your opinion? - Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, May 16, 2013)

SQAD is your resource for CPMs.

Average quarter hour audience,
not weekly audience, should be your basis.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When is television creative worn out?

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, May 14, 2013)

Friday, May 10, 2013

If I use marketing emails, what percent can I expect to be opened by the recipient?

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, May 10, 2013)

According to a study released in May, 2013,

Email marketers experienced an average open rate of 19.7% last year, although top-performing companies had an open rate almost twice as high

Thursday, May 09, 2013


Please let me know how can I ad my mobile site. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, May 10, 2013)

The Guru deals with Media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department management questions.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

What is the most recent data re: combining radio with display banners to drive visits to websites?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, May 08, 2013)

Monday, May 06, 2013

In reference to question #8841, it's not the population numbers that match. The population numbers are different. It's the definition of the target that is the same. (Sometimes MRI does not offer the specific store or brand name for our customers in their definition, but in our case they do.) Does this change your reply? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, May 06, 2013)

If the two sources differ on estimating populations, even though the descriptive words seem to agree, then the projections of users are likely to disagree. The Guru would not make the assumption you propose.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

If I have a specific instance in which the MRI defined target definition is exactly the same as my target definition, would it be acceptable for calculations to assume my total population based on client data over MRI's estimated numbers. For example, could I presumably take the unique reach number in thousands that Telmar gives me from Media 360 and instead of dividing it into the MRI population for a total reach, to divide it into my client provided population. Again this would only be if my client target and MRI target definitions matched exactly. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, May 02, 2013)

If the numbers match exactly, it doesn't matter.

As someone once said, "The difference that makes no difference is no difference.

Monday, April 29, 2013

what is the random duplication formula

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, April 29, 2013)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Where is the best place to search for white papers related to the dental supply industry? Also, how does go about the search? I am working on a project to assist a purchasing manager as part of an assignment and this is new to me. Any help would be appreciated.

Best regards,


The Media Guru Answers (Monday, April 29, 2013)

The Guru deals with Media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department management questions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

hi Guru, i completed my post graduation in mass communication in 2011 but i didn't try for job, now i want to join any good adv company in pune or mumbai. Will i get chance in good company or have to do first internship?I am totally confused.please let me know different new career option in adv field and also regarding person in pune whom i can personally meet in pune.
And plz plz give me your valuable piece of advice in this crisis.

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, April 23, 2013)

The Guru has no expertise in Pune or the nearby job market. The Guru deals with media planning/buying/selling and media department structure.

Your school should offer career counseling

Friday, April 12, 2013

how do we normalise 45 seconds grps to 30 seconds grps

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, April 12, 2013)

A :45 is worth 50% more than a :30 in GRP or impressions in this calculation

Monday, April 08, 2013

What is the current best practice for estimating/calculating local DMA delivery for national cable? If I buy 50 TRPs across a specific list of networks (I.e. TNT, TBS, USA, ESPN, TLC, A&E, Bravo) and I buy 65% prime/35% ROS as a prototype buy, what method do I use to estimate/calculate delivered TRPs for individual DMAs? I am particularly interested in those markets which do no have LPMs and for which I cannot get overnight data, thanks.

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, April 08, 2013)

The Guru would suggest applying the networks' DMA distribution of subscribers to the national impressions.

Then the total impressions estimated for each DMA is divided by the relevant population in each DMA.

Monday, April 08, 2013

I need to do RF analysis on TV, but I have limited data. Basically, Reach, frequency and the incremental volume coming from Marketing mix models, all at monthly level for 3 years. Can you please help in understanding if this data is ok to proceed with? Or what else would we need? And also can we use LPP to solve this optimization problem?


The Media Guru Answers (Monday, April 08, 2013)

This query does not explicitly express a goal, so the Guru 's response must be limited.

You say you want to do RF analysis, but you also say you have RF data.

You also ask about "LPP," which is a term unfamiliar to the Guru. Could this be "leads per point," which would imply a Direct Response plan? These are not usually based on reach analysis.

Perhaps you could clarify your specific needs?

Friday, March 29, 2013

What is RF(Reach/Frequency)Media Planning? I have been meaning to find some data on it but couldnt do so! Can you please explain the RF planning process and how is it different from conventional media planning?

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, March 29, 2013)

RF Media Planning is not a standardized concept.

The term implies a planning approach weighting Reach and Frequency goals above all other considerations. An interesting article is found at OnWindows.com

Thursday, March 28, 2013

If you are using an R&F program (such as Telmar) to provide a reach/frequency for a qualitative target built in Simmons (and imported into Telmar), what are the caveats in terms of sample size needed, and validity of the data?
Can attitudinal data be layered onto other stats (ie., Plan to Remodel House AND I WILL PAY MORE FOR QUALITY GOODS) and be measured in the R&F?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, March 28, 2013)

50 respondents is a commonly used minimum. Reliability is the issue, rather than "validity." Reliability means whether or not repeating the same measurement with the same size sample will produce the same result. At 50 respondents the variance can be roughly +/- 25%. Can your decision making tolerate that much swing in results? 200 respondents would reduce the error range by half..

This does not directly impact using the target in R&F any more than any other use of such demographic projections.

Validity is a right/wrong question. Whether the question asked can be interpreted as desired. For example, can asking how often you will go to the movies in the next year produce a realistic forecast of movie attendance? Hence we ask how often did you go in the last 12 months

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I work at a smaller agency and until recently planned mainly local and regional campaigns. Lately, I've had several requests for multi-state buys. I currently have no access to planning software and rely on my media vendors to provide R/F reports. I then enter these R/F numbers in Excel and "guesstimate" reach and frequency from impression counts for media for which I don't have R/F numbers. What are some relatively inexpensive databases/software choices that I can utilize to be more strategic in my planning. I don't need the functionality of executing the buy thru the system, but only optimizing the media mix.


The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, March 27, 2013)

The Guru recommends that you consider our own etelemar.net

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Im wondering if this website could give me all the adequate information on the canadian air transportation indusrty that one would need if one was thinking of "getting in to" the industry financially?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, March 20, 2013)

The Guru deals with Media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department management questions.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How can we calculate Cost per person on television spend?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, March 13, 2013)

"Per" signifies "divided by."

Divide your spend by the gross number of persons exposed to your TV activity.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Guru, my copy duration is of 45 seconds, to calculate CPRP, which formula is correct?
1) cprp = (rate per 30 sec)/rating of channel
2) cprp = (rate per 45 sec)/rating of channel

Please help.

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, March 08, 2013)

When equivalizing is not an issue, CPRP is always rate / rating, so your option 2 is correct.

If equivalizing is in play, cprp is rate per 45 sec / 1.5

(1.5 represents the ratio of 45/30)

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Is there a formula to get from unequivalized to equivalized when there is a mix involved?

For example. If I have 100 equivalized GRPs and I want to unequivalize them with a 30% :30 & 70% :15 mix, I get 170 unequivalized GRPs.

But, when I try to get back from 170 unequivalized GRPs to the 100 equivalized, the same math gets me to 110 GRPs.

Am I making sense? HELP!

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, March 07, 2013)

Always keep in mind that the :30's don't change going in either direction.

If your unequivalized GRP are 30% :30's or 30 GRP, that leaves 70 equivalized GRP to deal with. If they are :15's equivalized then they must have been 140 unequivlized. 140 + 30 is 170.

If you equivalize the 140 of :15's they go back to 70. The :30's are still 30. 70 + 30 + 100

Thursday, March 07, 2013

What is the rule of thumb for a media buyer to purchase national television for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4? For example, if I want to purchase a national TV flight in Q3 when (what month?) can I approach the networks (broadcast and cable) for proposals? I appreciate your feedback! Thanks very much!

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, March 07, 2013)

Once the upfront season has ended, networks will deal with "scatter" like this. Upfronts should begin to wrap by July.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

I want to know about the advertising agency of jhonson baby soap

The Media Guru Answers (Sunday, March 03, 2013)

Your key resources would be

Friday, February 22, 2013

On average, how much higher is a W25-54 Radio CPP compared to an A25-54 Radio CPP?

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, February 22, 2013)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is there a formula for converting unequivalized TV GRPs to equivalized GRPs?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, February 21, 2013)

If the unequivalized GRPs are from :30s, then they convert to equivalized at 100%

If the unequivalized GRPs are from :15s, then they convert at 50%

If the unequivalized GRPs are from :60s, then they convert at 200%

And so on.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm a college student doing a case study and am doing media work for this case. It's a high-profile brand that is very known launching a new product. I was wondering what you thought a good GRP level would be for a new product/campaign launch, and if with a popular brand, should we focus more on reach or frequency? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, February 21, 2013)

There are many considerations, such as competition, available copy and more.

Click here to see over 200 past Guru responses about setting levels

The reach versus frequency question may depend on how closely related the new product is to the existing brand reputation. You need to build a large enough awareness base before you turn your emphasis to reinforcement.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dear Guru for effective media plan how much GRP does it need to achieve. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, February 11, 2013)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Dear Media Guru I belong to country Nepal Where there are no TAM or ABC data available only Nielsen provides Viewership, Listenership & Readership data on sample size of 1800+ respondent (above 18 Yrs), so please can you suggest me some ideas on how do I evaluate by media plan? GRP calculation is possible without TAM? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, February 07, 2013)

GRP is audience impressions divided by the relevant population. It seems as if Nielsen would be reporting that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Dear Media Guru,
I am writing from Bosnia so please excuse my English.I know that there have been some studies that say that the best positions for a TV add are first&last in the block an that the "in the middle of a block" is not so desirable.
Is there any recommenden ratio in % between positionig a TV adds first in block, in the middle of a block or in the end? Also is there any recommended ratio in % for primetime and offtime positionig?
Thank you in advance
best regards

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, February 06, 2013)

The structure of commercial placement and the pattern of consumer response can vary greatly from culture to culture. Even within the US, Hispanic broadcast has significan differences versus the General Market.

The Guru claims no expertise in Bosnian TV.

Based on what you say is known, the preference would be for the beginning and ends of commercial blocks.

Reach and frequency analyses versus budget considerations would guide your Prime versus other ratio.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Dear Guru does Reach of TV programs = Its Viewership

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, February 06, 2013)

Reach is a technical, statistical media term. "Viewership" is layman's English. Reach is the percentage of a population group that has viewed a program, or a schedule of programs.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

dear sir,
we are from sfs college from Bangalore and planning to conduct national level seminar on media and advertising we need resource people to talk about the topic.

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, February 07, 2013)

Consult your local your major ad agencies

Friday, February 01, 2013

How do I convert impressions into GRPs/TRPs (ie: 6,383,480 radio impressions)?

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, February 01, 2013)

(impressions ÷ population) X 100 = GRP. I.e. if impressions are equal to population, your GRP is 100.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What does the term, "taking options" mean in tv buying?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, January 31, 2013)

When making an upfront (four quarters) network buy, the option to cancel a portion of the later quarters is part of the negotiation. "Taking options" means exercising some of those cancellation rights.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is there a "best practices" for frequency capping re-targeted online ads?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, January 30, 2013)

The Guru is puzzled as to your use of "re-targeted." If you mean re-using old ads for a new target group, which has not been exposed to the ad, then previous frequency is not relevant.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hi Guru. When buying multiple cable zones, can you combine the reach and frequency? If not, why?

The Media Guru Answers (Wednesday, January 30, 2013)

Reaches (and GRP) of different pieces of geography must be weight-averaged, based on population, not "combined."[none]

Friday, January 25, 2013

hi guru can you tell me what are the key points to be consider while making media strategy

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, January 25, 2013)

See the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan

Friday, January 18, 2013

If I know the weekly (one week) frequency of a radio spot schedule, how can I calculate what the frequency will be over multiple weeks? Say, 2-week, 3-week, and 4-week schedules? What is the formula? I know you can't simply take the 1-week frequency and times that by the number of weeks in a schedule.

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, January 18, 2013)

You can't get there from here. You need information about daypart mix, station mix, GRP levels, etc. For each schedule a new R&F must be processed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What information should be shared with the client in the broadcast buy reports. I have a client asking for specific program rates/ratings, but I feel that is propriatary information. We hold the contract with Nielsen and we use the media spend of several clients to secure great rates. Also the client intends to share this info with another agency. How transparent do we need to be?

The Media Guru Answers (Friday, January 11, 2013)

As a media buying business, you act as the agent of the client. You do everything on their behalf. Nothing Done for them is proprietary to the agency.

In the Guru's entire career of 40+ years, the standard buy report to a client shows program, rate and audience.

Exceptions might be in cases where a buy is just "boxcar" weight where no rate has been set for individual spots, only a package bottom line. But still at least on the post-buy proghrams and audiences should be shown. Your Nielsen contract surely allows you to show clients the ratings of buys and plans.

The client may be discouraged from sharing your rates, but not forbidden.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How long should a radio commercial run before changing copy?

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, January 10, 2013)

It depends principally on two considerations:

  • How heavily do you run your schedule?
  • How good is your commercial?

Of course the best answer is that you change the commercial when it starts to become ineffective, which nanswer requires testing. If you can't or don't want to test, the Guru would use a 2,000 GRP rule-of-thumb.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


I would like to ask the effective print ad spending rate/ industry standard effective rate of Cost per Thousand/ Mille of print advertisements in the Philippines such as magazines and billboards.

Thanks! I hope to hear from you soon! This will greatly help me with my budgeting. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers (Tuesday, January 08, 2013)

Start with Gaebler's Philiipine Advertising Costs if that does not suffice, search Google Pilipinas

Monday, January 07, 2013

Is there a site I can go to to obtain cost per points for Radio across the nationm,with out having to call national reps

The Media Guru Answers (Monday, January 07, 2013)

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Free media planning resources, research, tools, software and database for Traditional and Digital platforms.

The Media Guru Answers (Thursday, January 03, 2013)

Good quality resources are worth money. Some major media research and software providers offer resources as a gesture of goodwill and promotion.

Our own AMIC offers possibly the most. MRI +, and Nielsen are among others with some useful information.